Tag Archives: public services

Chart of the week 31?: On the quality of health service provision

Teachers are on a cold strike, as we have seen, and many don’t have the level of knowledge of their subject matter that we would like. But what about health facility workers – nurses, clinical officers and doctors?

The same World Bank Service Delivery Indicators project has collected data on this as well, in the same four countries: Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. I’ve pulled out three indicators: health worker absenteeism, adherence to clinical guidelines, and diagnostic accuracy.

So what do these charts tell us?

  • Health worker absenteeism is worst in Uganda, where nearly half (46%) of health workers were found to be not present at the time of an unannounced visit.
  • In Tanzania, absenteeism is substantially higher in urban areas (33%) than rural (17%).
  • Senegal appears to have a bigger problem that the other three countries with the quality of services provided. Only 22% of health workers were found to be following clinical guidelines, and only a third (34%) of diagnostic tests were found to be accurate.
  • In all three East African countries, health workers are more likely to follow clinical guidelines in urban areas than rural. And the accuracy of diagnostic tests was also higher in urban areas.

Chart of the week #29: “Mgomo Baridi” – How much time do teachers actually spend teaching?

Teachers in Tanzania are often said to be on a “cold strike”- mgomo baridi. Not officially on strike, but seriously demotivated and not putting in anything like the amount of effort that the government expects of them. Some may be absent from their schools, others at school but not in the classroom. This is often cited as one reason why children are not learning as well as they should be.

But exactly how bad is the situation, and how does it compare with teachers in other countries? Continue reading

Chart of the Week #4: Distribution of new teachers in Tanzania’s Primary Schools

HakiElimu published a statement last week on the allocation of new primary school teachers to different regions, including this chart:

Pupil teacher rations in Tanzanian primary schools, by region, 2013 and 2014. Source: HakiElimu

Pupil teacher ratios in Tanzanian primary schools, by region, 2013 and 2014. Source: HakiElimu

Their main point is that although the teacher-pupil ratio has dropped in most regions, there doesn’t seem to be any effort to send new teachers to the regions where they are needed most. Even in regions where the ratio is below the national target of 1:40, more new teachers are being added – see Pwani, Morogoro, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Katavi, Arusha – while regions like Tabora, Mara, Geita, Mwanza and Kagera remain below the target.

Open (education) data: Supply, demand, and something in between

shule.info screenshot

shule.info screenshot

Shule.info is a fascinating new website that presents Tanzanian Form 4 exam results in some very interesting ways. It is potentially very useful to anyone with an interest in education in Tanzania – students, parents, teachers, local government, politicians, journalists and analysts.

Would you like to know how well your secondary school (or your child’s school) is performing? Would you like to compare exam results across different regions of Tanzania, to follow trends over time, or to see the effect of the adjustments made to 2012 exam results? If so, this site is for you. Launched (in beta) earlier this week, it has been put together by a group of young Tanzanian software developers, led by Arnold Minde, with some support from Twaweza. Continue reading

Bold commitments, disappointing delivery: Five challenges for Tanzania and the OGP

Kikwete at OGP Summit in Brazil, April 2012. Photo from ikulublog.com

President Kikwete at OGP Summit in Brazil, April 2012. Photo from ikulublog.com

Tanzania has made strong statements about the Open Government Partnership (OGP). It has also promised to deliver. When President Kikwete spoke at the OGP Summit in Brazil in April 2012, he said:

“I promise that we will do our best to live up to the expectations of this partnership to promote transparency and accountability of our government to the people of Tanzania. I wish to reaffirm that our political will to achieve the OGP goals will not falter because open government is at the heart of the contract between state and citizens” 

But is Tanzania is living up to these bold words? The sceptics out there are not so sure.  Continue reading

How will Tanzania cope with 275 million people?

The Washington Post has just published a fascinating analysis as of new UN population projections up to the year 2100. It’s worth reading the whole thing, not least because it comes with some beautifully simple visualisations of the data, using my new favourite online tool: DataWrapper. 

As usual, however, my main interest is in Tanzania, which the Post’s article touched on briefly, along with the chart above: Continue reading

Running a hybrid – NGO and media cultures combine

A little while ago, I posted an old op-ed column by Rakesh Rajani, in which he asked “What if NGOs were newspapers?” And I promised to follow it up with some thoughts on our situation here at Daraja, where we are an NGO that runs newspapers, to see how accurate Rakesh’s ideas were. Well, here goes.

Rakesh’s main point was that NGOs are not subject to the strict deadlines that rule newspapers’ work, or to the same kind of pressure that newspapers face to give readers what they want. A reporter who misses a deadline finds that their story isn’t published. A newspaper that comes out late risks missing out on sales and undermining their readers’ trust. And if a newspaper writes about things that don’t interest their readers then that paper won’t get bought again. The nearest equivalent pressures on NGOs have often very little to do with the community – their “beneficiaries” – and more to do with keeping their donors happy.

In other words, NGOs aren’t as strongly accountable to the community as newspapers for doing their work on time or for doing it well. Continue reading

Rural water supply in Tanzania since independence, and for the next 50 years

Rural water supply in Tanzania since independence, and for the next 50 years

It is, quite rightly, the season for raising our eyes and looking up at the horizon. December 9th, 2011 will mark 50 years since the British flag came down on Tanganyika and the country’s life as an independent nation began. So what better time to think a little further than the hot political issue of the day (which is usually forgotten within a week or two) or even most NGOs’ furthest horizon – the 5 year strategic plan?

There are plenty of others who are better placed to assess Tanzania’s past achievements and future prospects in political or economic terms, so I won’t trespass on their terrain. But I can say something about rural water supply. In particular, I have identified two themes of change in the sector – covering the past 50 years and the next – that I think may be of interest. Continue reading

The politics of water supply are coming to the boil

This blog has long argued that the major challenges in the water sector are more political than technical. We have also highlighted the fact that the political nature of the challenges has not been matched by political attention. Water supply was largely ignored in the 2010 election campaigns, for example, not featuring in the major campaign promises of any of the big three parties’ presidential candidates nor gaining much attention in election media coverage (here and here).

Now, four separate developments in the past few weeks point to a change in the politics of water supply in Tanzania. So what are the new developments, and what is the change that they point to? Continue reading

"Undertaking" Tanzania's Water Sector Development Programme?

“Undertaking” Tanzania’s Water Sector Development Programme?

I spent two days last week at the annual Joint Water Sector Review meeting – the so-called “highlight” of the annual calendar of “dialogue”. This was the sixth such meeting to be held – and I have the “distinction” of having attended all of them. But as you can probably guess from the profusion of “inverted commas” in this paragraph, I’m having serious doubts about the whole exercise. Before I come to that, though, let me give you some background.

Around 250 people from the Ministry of Water, other related government ministries and agencies, the “development partners” and civil society all attended, in the workshop factory that is Ubungo Plaza. All the main stakeholders were there. Apart from water consumers that is, who are only represented in the sense that everyone consumes water. And those consumers (or perhaps I should call them citizens) weren’t represented by their official representatives either – no MPs or local councillors attend, with the exception of the Ministers officiating at the formal opening and closing sessions. We civil society folks had to take on that role. Continue reading